2008 Hurricane Season: Buckle Up

The 2008 hurricane forecast is out, and the instructions for the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Seaboard are pretty clear: buckle up.

Image from Tidewater Muse on Flickr

After several years of lackluster performance, the pipeline of storm surges and 150 mile-per-hour winds from the African coast appears to be back open.

Despite a forecast of below-average numbers of hurricanes this year (four, versus six on average), the number of named tropical storms has spiked dramatically. In an ordinary year (by storm standards) ten storms would form and be worthy of naming. This year, scientists anticipate fifteen.

This represents a growing trend dating back to 1995, claim meteorologists at Colorado State University. Atlantic ocean hurricane seasons apparently run in 30 year cycles of warming and cooling phases, which means we have quite a long way to go before the waters off of Cape Verde cool and allow a respite.